The Captain James Cook Memorial Stone was installed by the Rotary Club as part of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations which commemorated the arrival in Sydney in 1788 of Captain James Cook (1728-79) with the First Fleet, establishing Australia as a British Colony. This stone celebrates Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery up the East Coast of Australia in 1770.Captain Cook was the first recorded European to see the Gold Coast when he sailed HMS Endeavour north between Point Danger and Stradbroke Island’s Point Lookout on 16 May 1770. Diary excerpts from Cook and his botanist, Joseph Banks, describe the inland peaks and hills of the hinterland, along with coastal lagoons surrounded by fires believed to be created by local indigenous people gathering to celebrate the annual oyster harvest. Diagonally opposite the memorial, on the corner of Nerang and Scarborough Streets, is the Cecil Hotel, named after the American filmmaker, Cecil B. De Mille (1881-1959), first built in 1908 and then rebuilt in its present art deco style in 1938.
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